One of the most challenging things in a relationship is figuring out what to do when your partner pulls away. He might have ended your relationship, or you may just feel things have changed. Either way, I know how frustrating it feels when a partner pulls away and you feel you’ve lost them forever.
The worst thing is that if you aren’t broken up, the emotions around what’s going on can sabotage your relationship–these emotions can be so intense that they cloud your judgment. Feeling weak, afraid, and even angry at someone who has pulled away suddenly is normal, because when a guy pulls away, he usually makes you feel insecure about your relationship.
The great news is that if you can properly handle your guy distancing himself, your actions can strengthen your relationship. Here are five surprising things to do when your partner pulls away:
1. Give Him Some Space
One reason a guy may pull away is that he’s stressed, so it’s great to give him space after you ask him about it. That will allow him to think about what’s going on without feeling pressured. Take a step back if you’re worried your partner is distant because he is stressed out–for example, he might feel overwhelmed or struggling with work obligations or health issues, or he might be unsure about his needs and require some distance to process his feelings.
Because he might be dealing with matters unrelated to the relationship, don’t assume he is emotionally unstable–giving him space is an excellent way to keep your relationship strong and healthy.
2. Avoid Blowing Up His Phone
Don’t punish a guy for being distant–whether your relationship is new or several years old, lashing out when he withdraws from you will only break trust and hurt comfortability around communication. Instead, I recommend you focus on your goals, friendships, and things that make you happy and let him communicate with you when he is ready.
3. Listen to Him
Listen fully when he tells his story about his emotions and ending the relationship. Then, ask questions to understand why he’s pulling away. In long-distance relationships, this can be tricky because often, we only get one opportunity to talk on the phone. So, ensure he feels safe enough to share his feelings and thoughts with you by being an active listener–he may be shocked at how open and receptive you are.
4. Avoid Yelling at Him
Men often pull away for different reasons, and while you may want to chase him and scream, this may only push him further away, creating a self-destructive cycle. Instead, give him time and space to process how he feels. If you’re frustrated or angry because he has pulled away, don’t make things worse by yelling at him. Tell him respectfully how you feel about what’s going on, without pressuring him to give a certain response.
Yelling at a guy when he pulls away will only push him away further. Acknowledging your relationship as a two-way street is vital, as how you respond to a guy who’s pulling away can make or break your relationship.
5. Be Calm and Understanding
A man may pull away because of family problems, financial issues, health problems, or emotional reasons, so it’s best to calmly ask him his reasons for pulling away. By remaining calm and understanding during all this, you can avoid emotional trauma and portray your true emotional intelligence.
It’s not anyone’s fault if feelings change–unfortunately, that’s how life sometimes goes. Although it’s difficult when a relationship is no longer working, remember that it’s not always about the other person. You don’t have to yell or lash out at your partner for pulling away–surprise him with your ability to understand and listen, your emotional intelligence, and your comfortability with time apart when that is what’s needed.